Commonwealth Games 2022
England advance to semis but Knight remains in doubt
England are a lock for the Commonwealth Games T20 semi-finals following a 26-run victory over South Africa, but Heather Knight's fitness remains a concern
3 August 2022, 06:33 AM AEST
Heather Knight's availability for the rest of the Commonwealth Games is in fresh doubt as England moved to the brink of the women's T20 semi-finals with a 26-run victory over South Africa.
The England captain had an injection in her hip in a bid to be fit for the debut of women’s T20 cricket at the Games, but she has been sidelined for her side's two opening Group B wins at Edgbaston.
She is also likely to miss England's final group game against New Zealand on Thursday and is nervously awaiting the results of a scan which may determine whether she can participate in the finals stages.
"She's not in a good place," stand-in skipper Nat Sciver said of her injured teammate.
"She's better than she has been in the last few days, still in a bit of pain with her hip.
"It's probably going to be a bit quick to play against New Zealand, she went and saw our team doctor and had another scan. She's waiting on the results of that."
While Knight led England to a seminal victory at the 2017 50-over World Cup, her absence in Birmingham has hardly been noticed as the tournament hosts have brushed aside Sri Lanka and now South Africa.
Alice Capsey, sporting a black eye due to a mishap during warm-up ahead of England's opening game against Sri Lanka, continued a fine start to her international career after amassing 50 from 37 balls, becoming the youngest England player to score a T20I fifty at age 17.
While she was one of three wickets to fall in nine deliveries, England recovered from 5-94 to post 167 without further loss thanks to an unbroken 73-run stand from Amy Jones and Katherine Brunt.
Both Jones (36 not out) and Brunt (38no) faced 23 balls apiece and their innings each contained one six and four fours.
South Africa openers Anneke Bosch and Tazmin Brits were both dropped in the outfield although Sophie Ecclestone atoned for spilling the former at mid-on by breaking through her defences as the Proteas reached a watchful 1-69 at the halfway mark.
But with Lizelle Lee, Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp all unavailable for varying reasons, South Africa lacked the nous to put England under consistent pressure.
With the asking rate spiralling, Freya Kemp, Brunt and Sciver took a wicket apiece as South Africa subsided to 4-141.
This was England's seventh straight white-ball win over South Africa this summer and their fourth in a row in T20s, having warmed up for these Games with a 14-2 points triumph in a multi-format series.
South Africa cannot make the semi-finals, but have a chance to finish the tournament on a winning note in their final game against Sri Lanka on Thursday.
2022 Commonwealth Games
Australia's squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Amanda-Jade Wellington
Group A: Australia, India, Pakistan, Barbados
Group B: England, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka
Semi-finals: August 6, 11am local (8pm AEST) and 6pm local (3am Aug 7 AEST)
Bronze medal match: August 7, 10am local (7pm AEST)
Gold medal match: August 7, 5pm local (2am Aug 8 AEST)
All matches played at Edgbaston Stadium